Reading Trails Committee awarded DCR grant for Aberjona River Headwaters Trail

The Town of Reading Trails Committee has been awarded a grant under the Recreational Trails Program administered by the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

The $11,640 grant, which is funded through a combination of federal and state money, was among a total of $3.94 million in grants announced this week to assist with the design, construction, and maintenance of 75 trail projects around the state.

According to DCR, the Aberjona River Headwaters Trail will follow a sewer easement through wetlands surrounding the Aberjona River and will include the building of two bridges, a boardwalk, and a bog bridge. The project is designed to connect three local neighborhoods in the center of town and to raise awareness of the Aberjona River, which serves as an important tributary to the Mystic River.

Under the terms of the grant, Reading must spend the money by the end of the current fiscal year (June 30, 2019), and will then be reimbursed the $11,640.  The town will also provide a $20,124 local match, which is not reimbursable.

“This grant funding will allow the Reading Trails Committee to further its goal of helping the town create an interconnected series of trails that can be enjoyed by Reading residents of all ages,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading).

“The Reading delegation has and will always be strong supporters of the Reading Trails Committee.  Ensuring all the residents of Reading can continue to enjoy the trails within the community is essential for the town and this grant funding provides the means to do so,” said Representative James J. Dwyer (D-Woburn).

“I’m thrilled that Reading has attracted grant funding for the exciting Aberjona River Headwaters Trail. Projects like these help the community to protect natural resources, expand recreational activities for residents and visitors, and support local business and economic development,” said Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester), Assistant Majority Whip.

Funding for the grants comes from federal Recreational Trails Program revenues generated by the motor fuel excise tax on off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles, as well as state capital funds.  The federal funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Surface Transportation Act, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

All of the grant requests were reviewed and approved by Massachusetts Recreational Trails Advisory Board (MARTAB), an independent volunteer board whose members are appointed by DCR Commissioner Leo Roy.

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